Back To School: Backpack Guide 2016

Whether school already began for your kids or their first day back is right around the corner, one thing is for sure: they can’t take just any old backpack. From preschoolers to the high school bound, we’ve rounded up our favorite picks of backpacks to suit anyone’s needs. These backpacks are not only functional and durable, but modern and stylish for any personality. 

Proper Assembly

The Gear

When it comes to the best gear, we certainly can’t reserve all of our fantastic options for the younger crowd. Teens, tweens and kids getting ready to head off to college are often the toughest to please and certainly the hardest to shop for. This year for backpacks, Proper Assembly is coming to the rescue with their gender-neutral and stylish collection of bags.

The No. 5 backpack is as much of a backpack for grownups as it is for the stylish teen or pre-teen in your life. It offers a minimalistic silhouette while still providing tons of necessary features to make up the perfect backpack. It is constructed specifically for anyone who is always busy and on the move. Weighing in at less than 1.5 lbs, it features tough yet durable denim as well as an edgy and stylish leather zipper pocket. This bag is crafted to last for years to come and features a padded back and padded straps along with an interior laptop sleeve (this will hold up to a 15″ Macbook – trust us, we’ve tried) and 2 side slip pockets. 

Features to Love

  • Japanese denim
  • American vegetable tanned leather
  • Hand-painted leather edge detail
  • Silver embossed logo detail
  • Front leather zip pocket
  • 2 side slip pockets
  • Padded shoulder straps, back and base
  • Interior laptop sleeve
  • Measures 16″ x 12″ x 5″

Proper Assembly began in 2014 with a focus on creating functional designs with high quality materials. They also aimed to ensure that these luxury designs were affordable. Thus began Proper Assembly and their selection of fashionable and functional bags of all different kinds.

Daily Mom Readers receive an extra 30% off all orders from now until September 30th using coupon code: DAILYMOM

Herschel Supply Co.

The Gear

Give your child’s backpack a modern, yet timeless feel this year. Bypass the character bags and the dumpy quality big box brands, and treat your kids (and yourself!) to a finely made and uniquely designed backpack that expresses their personality in a classic way. Whether you’re shopping for a teen, a preschooler, or a grad student, Herschel Supply Co. has the perfect style backpack for everyone this year.

We love the Retreat Backpack for older kids, college students, and adults. This stunningly designed backpack is roomy and versatile enough for all of your school supplies, including a laptop. With the huge array of color and design options, you can bet that no one else this year will be rocking the same backpack as you.

The Settlement Backpack is designed for younger students, such as preschool and elementary age kids. This classic style backpack is just as impeccably made as its adult counterparts, with attention to detail not lacking. Give your kids the option of what style and color they want this year, and they’ll be sure to stand out from the crowd in the best way possible, with their unique personality shining.

Features to Love

Retreat Backpack

  • Classic cinch top with adjustable drawstring closure
  • Fits up to a 15″ laptop in the padded and fleece lined pocket
  • Front straps feature magnetic closure
  • Exterior sleeve pocket
  • Interior media pocket with headphone port
  • Comes in a wide variety of color combinations and designs
  • Features Herschel’s signature red and white striped fabric interior liner
  • 17″(H) x 12″(W) x 5.75″(D), 19.5L

Settlement Backpack – Kids

  • Perfect for kids ages 3-6
  • Exterior zippers with leather pulls
  • Comes in a wide variety of color combinations and designs
  • Features Herschel’s signature red and white striped fabric interior liner
  • Woven interior name label
  • 13.25″(H) x 9.5″(W) x 3.75″(D), 9.5L

In 2009, brothers Jamie and Lyndon Cormack founded Herschel Supply Co., named after the tiny town in Canada where generations of their family lived. Today, this Canadian company strives to produce timeless accessories including backpacks, hats, wallets and travel bags with exquisite attention to detail and quality. Their collections combine inspiration from the world with a modern vibe that allow travelers, students, and the everyday person to enjoy top notch products that maintain functionality and contemporary style.

High Sierra 

The Gear

Books, notebooks, technology, an extra change of clothes, lunch box, water bottles… kids have a lot of things to lug back and forth to school with them every day. We all know that when a backpack doesn’t have room to hold all of our kids’ belongings, they get forgotten, dropped or lost somewhere between school and home. Kids need a backpack that can haul it all without being too bulky or difficult to carry.

That’s where the Fat Boy Backpack by High Sierra comes in. This backpack keeps all of your child’s school necessities organized within the multiple compartments and the front zippered accessory pocket. The interior features a tech compartment that can hold a tablet or small laptop securely in place. The mesh side pocket is perfect for a water bottle, and keeps it easily accessible.

The padded shoulder straps and suspension system are designed to keep your child comfortable when carrying the backpack, and the nonslip shoulder pads help to disperse the weight evenly. The side compression straps allow this bag to grow with your child for years to come!

What do we love most about this backpack? It’s tough! The body is constructed of lightweight Duralite Ripstop that can withstand the wear and tear that kids put on backpacks.

Features to Love

  • 3 separate main compartments and front zippered accessory pocket
  • Techspot tablet or computer sleeve (12.5″ x 11″ x .75″)
  • Adjustable shoulder and side straps
  • Media pocket with headphone slot
  • Mesh water bottle pocket
  • Padded back panel
  • Front hook for attaching gear
  • S-shaped mesh shoulder straps with Suspension System
  • Choose from 26 colors/styles
  • Measures 19.5″ x 13″ x 7″
  • Weighs 1.52 lbs

High Sierra has been designing versatile lifestyle gear since 1978 and has grown to become the tenth largest outdoor company in the United States. For over 30 years, it has been a family-owned company, committed to creating durable, affordable, and feature-rich products that allow their customers the freedom to go anywhere their adventure takes them.


The Gear

By the time some students hit high school and college, many are ready to move on from the backpack. Even so, they still need a bag that can keep everything together and organized. Finding a tote bag stylish enough to carry every day, and large enough to fit books, notebooks and all of the necessities for class can be a challenge, but we think the Essential Tote by Built NY is the perfect fit.

The roomy interior of the Essential Tote makes it possible to fit everything a student might need for the day. Three stretchy interior pockets are perfect for keeping small things from falling to the bottom of the bag. The bag zips completely closed so that everything inside is well protected.

The fun prints and style of this bag make it perfect for transitioning between school and extracurricular activities. Carry books during the week, and use it for shopping or a trip to the beach on the weekend. We think this would make a great bag for moms trying to get organized this school year, too.

One of our favorite things about this bag is that it’s made from wet suit neoprene, making it extremely lightweight and protective against spills, as well as durable. When accidents happen, it wipes clean quickly and easily. 

Features to Love

  • Made from neoprene (the wetsuit material)
  • Comes in 5 colors/styles
  • Roomy interior
  • Long, soft handles make it easy to carry heavy loads (22″ total length)
  • Zips closed to protect contents
  • 3 stretchy interior pockets
  • Stores flat

BUILT NY believes that great design makes everyday life better. They offer a collection of innovative, stylish and protective goods inspired by the city that never sleeps. Check out their lunch bags, kitchen items, wine and bar collections and totes, all designed for making life easier when you’re on the go.  


Essential Tote


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Beatrix NY

The Gear

Are you tired of the same boring backpack and looking for a chic contemporary backpack or lunch box for the school year? Look no further! Whether your child loves animals, robots, bugs, or dinosaurs, Beatrix NY has fantastic school accessories to fit their personality. Everything is beautifully designed and features unique figures for their enjoyment. Not only do they have backpacks and lunch boxes, but they have created their own bento boxes and reusable drink containers so that children not only have fashion but they have functional alternatives to plastic bags and water bottles.

The Little Kid Pack by Beatrix NY is an adorable backpack designed for your 2-4 year old tot. The Percival the Dino Little Kid Pack is perfect for your dinosaur lover. All of their packs are beautifully embroidered with a Maakum Forest creature and holds everything your little guy or girl will need for school. The padded back panel and shoulder straps will be a comfortable addition to any child’s daycare or pre-school day.

This playful Alister the Stegosaurus Lunch Box will keep your lunch fresh until it’s time to eat. Beatrix NY also has many other designs and characters to choose from. This lunch box fits both the Bento Box and Cozy Can drink bottle so they can have an organized lunch and cold drink. Not only can your child use this as a lunch box, but when they are not in school, it can be converted to a toiletry bag or toy case!

Beatrix NY’s newest creation is their Bento Box (shown here in Percival the Dino) and it does not disappoint! They have really thought about the environmental impact when choosing their design. Instead of using plastic, the Bento boxes are made from natural rice husk fiber so they are biodegradable. You can look cute and be environmentally conscious at the same time. Inside, the boxes have a divider if you are carrying more than one food, and are air tight with an elastic strap for the outside.

The stainless steel can may look like it holds soda but it actually is a healthy and environmentally friendly alternative. This Percival and Baxter the Dinosaurs Cozy Can from Beatrix NY holds the healthy stuff – juice, milk or water – for your daily trips or lunches. The Cozy Can has a vacuum insulation that keeps drinks hot or cold for up to 8 hours. These cute cans fit perfectly into the lunch boxes or kids’ backpacks, and are designed for kids 3 and up!

Features to Love

Little Back Pack: Percival the Dino and Lunch Box: Alister the Stegosaurus

  • Durable nylon and easy-to-clean laminated canvas
  • Machine washable
  • PVC free, lead free, phthalate free, and BPA free
  • Backpack has padded back panel, comfortable shoulder straps and a strong and easy-to-use zipper for kids 
  • Lunchbox is insulated inside to maintain freshness of food and fits the Bento Box and Cozy Can

Bento Box: Percival the Dino

  • Made from natural rice husk fiber so they are biodegradable
  • Air-tight to keep lunch and snacks fresh
  • Dishwasher safe

Cozy Can: Percival and Baxter the Dinosaurs

  • Environmentally friendly stainless steel can
  • Vacuum insulation keep drinks hot or cold for 8 hours
  • Removable cap with a sealable sippy-straw opening

Beatrix NY is a company that prides themselves on designing beautiful and contemporary accessories for children. Not only are they cute, but they are wonderful alternatives to disposable products. They have imaginative ways of taking normal children’s products and turning them into cool and modern accessories. 


The Gear

Children are not one-size-fits-all. So when you’re buying a backpack and you need one that is big enough and just the right fit, it can be hard to find. Now, there is no need to look further than Bixbee. They can accommodate your needs no matter how old your child is or their size and you can be rest assured to find the right fit for them.

Bixbee backpacks are available in small, medium and large, with a variety of fun styles from sparkles, animals and fun prints to meet your child’s unique fashion sense. If you have a little girl who sparkles, why not give her a Sparkalicious Kids Glitter Backpack to complement her personality. Not only is this bag perfect for school, it’s great for sleepovers and trips.

    Bixbee-Sparkalicious-Front-Straps The medium bag has just the right amount of storage for your little one. The interior has a padded area for a tablet or some coloring books, and plenty of storage compartments within to keep all her stuff nice and organized. This unique horizontal design also has adjustable straps and a place for a water bottle.

For those of you who may worry about the sparkles, they do not flake off; and you can easily wipe this bag clean with a soft, damp cloth. It’s available in 4 different sparkalicious colors and both medium and large sizes.

Features to Love

  • Medium size is perfect for kids between 43”–49”; Large size is for kids over 4 ft tall
  • Padded sleeve for tablets
  • Ergonomic fit
  • Unique horizontal design
  • Lunch money pocket
  • Available in a variety of color combinations and designs
  • ID card holder
  • 11”(H) x 13”(W) x 5”(D), 9.5L

Bixbee began in 2011, with a mission to provide kids in need with the materials they need to go to school. With this in mind, they started “One Here. One There.” so that for every backpack purchased, they would donate a schoolbag with supplies to a kid in need – with the belief that an education is the key to a sustainable future.

Daily Mom Readers receive an extra 20% off all orders from now until September 30th using coupon code: BIXBEESUMMER

Whether your child is always on the go from one activity to another, or can be found loading her backpack with books from the library, these backpacks will last the entire school year and beyond! 

Be sure to check back for more back-to-school info and posts in our BACK TO SCHOOL GUIDE section!

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We are a team of fun loving, web combing, baby wearing moms and dads who saw a need for a website where we could share all the useful tips we come across daily. Modern mothers need one place where they can learn how to raise a baby, cook a meal, build a fire, save some money and then spend it, and do it all while looking perfect and being green.

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